HTTP Secure Headers – How prevalent are these?

Recently Twitter added Public Key Pinning to their SecureHeaders Ruby Gem. There are 8 security headers now.

I wanted check the prevalence of these secure HTTP headers amongst the top websites to get a sense of the awareness around these very efficient mechanisms to address a plethora of security related issues.

For reference, CSP is documented here.

I checked most of the publicly available list of 2014 top 500 sites on the web from Fortune.com for this purpose and the stats for the 8 headers that SecureHeaders Ruby Gem covers is:

CSP HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) X-Frame-Options (XFO) X-XSS-Protection X-Content-Type-Options X-Download-Options X-Permitted-Cross-Domain-Policies Public Key Pinning
2 5 81 12 26 0 1 0

This is not a comprehensive test (and possibly not error free) but these numbers do point towards a possible lack of adoption for these gradually improving (and easy to use) security enforcement mechanisms.

Part reason for this may be the touch unreliability in the way browsers enforce these checks (for example X-Download-Options is supported only on Internet Explorer) but considering that these do not break anything if used sensibly (like CSP and Public key pinning’s report on settings) can be used to gradually improve the security stance of most websites without much effort.

Note: Tristan Waldear has created a Python-Flask package for the same headers and is hosted here.

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Drag Microsoft Office Excel Conditional format…

For the Umpteenth number of time, I spent >2 hours to figure out a way to drag my custom format in an incremental way across excel rows.

Here is the user case:

I have an excel spreadsheet that contains columns that look like below:

ExcelBlog-Pic-1

The custom format that I needed was:

1) Fill Green if value in the cells in B, C, and D is greater than or equal to the value in the cell A for that row.

2) Fill Yellow if value in the cells in B, C, and D is less than the value in the cell A for that row.

Exact Requirement: I want to create the formatting for the cells in one row, drag it down and expect Excel to do the incremental adjustments to the cell values as needed.

By default when I create the formula using the “Conditional Formatting” option it creates something like this:

ExcelBlog-Pic-2

If I “Format Paint” other cells then the “Cell Vale < $C$1” remains static. I wanted it to change based on the row it is on.

Fix was simple (I think other better ways too!):

1) In the formula remove the $ from the “Cell Value…” for the value that needs to reflect the changes. When I updated the formula like below I was able to format paint it over other cells:

ExcelBlog-Pic-3

In retrospect, that was simple…